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Cotechino and Lentils, The Authentic Italian Recipe

Cotechino and Lentils is a traditional main course that is the quintessential symbol of the New Year's Eve Dinner or Christmas Eve Dinner tradition in Italy
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Cotechino and Lentils, The Authentic Italian Recipe
  • Difficulty Moderate
  • Prep 15 minutes
  • Cook 3 hours
  • Servings 4 people

Cotechino and Lentils is a traditional Recipe has its origins in the peasant tradition that saw this second course as a sign of good omen for the beginning of the new year. Lentils were a symbol of abundance and prosperity while cotechino was among the very first products of the pig slaughtering that took place a few weeks before the festivities.

Cotechino is a type of Italian sausage made from pork rind, pork meat, and fat. Lentils, on the other hand, are legumes that come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and are an important source of protein and fiber in many cuisines. Preparing the Lentils in Stew to combine with Cotechino is really easy and lends itself to a variety of customizations, cooking the Cotechino will require you only a few tricks that we’ll show you so you can master this recipe.

Cotechino and Lentils, by tradition, is accompanied by some excellent Mashed Potatoes, some Sautéed Spinach and sometimes by some tasty Polenta.

As with all recipes, the Cotechino and Lentils recipe also requires the use of top-quality raw materials, so whenever possible, we recommend that you purchase an authentic Italian Cotechino and Organic Lentils. They will require a bit more time in cooking but the result will be truly amazing.


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  1. To prepare Cotechino with Lentils, start right from the preparation of the latter: after washing them under running water, pour them into a large bowl so that it can hold them without any problems, cover them with water and then let them soak for about 2 hours.



  2. In the meantime, wash and cleanse the celery, carrot and onion and chop them up helping. Inside a nonstick skillet, brown the finely chopped vegetables with two tablespoons of oil. Now add the lentils, letting them blanch for a couple of minutes or so, then pour the tomato paste made dissolved inside a glass of hot water and add more water so that the lentils are completely covered by it.

  3. At this point, salt and pepper the contents of the saucepan to taste and let everything cook until the lentils are soft, taking care, however, to add additional water to the pan when it tends to recede.

  4. In the meantime, with the help of a needle or fork, prick the surface of the cotechino and then wrap it with a white tea towel, taking care to secure the two ends with kitchen twine.


  5. Lay the cotechino inside a pot that can comfortably hold it horizontally, cover it with cold water and bring it to a boil on the stove: once the water has reached boiling temperature, lower the stove flame and cook it for two hours, but occasionally check that the water always completely submerges the contents of the pan.

  6. Once ready, drain the cotechino and slice it.We recommend forming a base of lentils in a nice serving dish (warm if possible) and lay slices of the cotechino on top. Serve the Cotechino con Lenticchie hot accompanied by some good Homemade Mashed Potatoes.


If you don’t like Lentils you can replace them with Peas or Spinach.


If you are in a hurry, you can also cook the Lentils in advance and reheat them when you are in the process of cooking the cotechino. How much to cook the Cotechino may vary depending on the size of the product and from the pot, so we recommend you keep an eye on it while cooking and adjust accordingly. If you want, to reduce the savoriness of the Cotechino, you can replace the cooking water halfway through cooking so as to reduce the salt content.


Once the Cotechino has completely cooled you can store it inside the refrigerator for up to 3 days, sealed in an airtight container.